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Vanilla custard with roasted strawberries and rhubarb

Dessert Summer
Featured in
Simple cookbook

If it’s in season use forced rhubarb here: the hot-pink colour of the slender stalks looks stunning once cooked. Regular field-grown rhubarb, though, available throughout the year, is also great. The custard and fruit mixtures can be made a day in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to assemble. Serve this with some shortbread alongside, if you’re looking for crunch.


200g rhubarb, cut into 3cm chunks
200g strawberries, hulled and halved lengthways
90g caster sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp cornflour
60g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
600ml double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
  2. Mix the rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar and arrange in a medium ovenproof dish: you want the fruit to fit snugly. Bake for 12–13 minutes, until the fruit has softened but still retains its shape and the sugar has melted. Don’t worry if there is a tiny amount of sugar that hasn’t melted: just give the fruit a gentle stir and the sugar will dissolve. Set aside to cool.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 170°C fan.
  4. For the custard, place the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually pour in the double cream and whisk until combined. Pour the custard into a 25cm round high-sided ovenproof dish. Place the dish inside a larger ovenproof dish and fill the larger dish with boiling water so it rises about 1cm up the sides. Bake for 25 minutes, until the custard has set and is starting to brown on top. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool, then transfer to the fridge to chill.
  5. Once chilled, spoon half the fruit and juice on top and serve with the remaining fruit and juice alongside.